Monday, February 24, 2014

Nikon D5300 Review (First Thoughts)

I purchased a Nikon D5300 a few months ago and I decided that I would give it a full test during my vacation last month. For Nikon's product brochure of the Nikon D5300, please click *HERE*.

Having come from a Nikon D5100, here are some of the things there are a few things that I'm not overly enthusiastic about with the Nikon D5300.

One of the things that I don't really like is that the control to move/navigate through the menus is a bit harder than it is with the D5100. The navigation controller on the D5300 requires a harder click than it does with the D5100.

One of the key features of the Nikon D5300 over its predecessors in the Nikon D5x00 line is that it has built-in Wi-Fi and built-in GPS. Having used both the Wi-Fi and the GPS, I find both lacking.

With the Wi-Fi, the camera allows you to connect to an Android or an iOS device. It does not allow you to connect directly to a wireless access point. The wireless is also limited in that it only allows you to transfer images from the camera to your device (Android or iOS). It does not allow you to update the GPS file via wireless nor does it allow you to do a firmware update over wireless. Both updating the GPS file and doing a firmware update require downloading the respective file onto an SD card, inserting the SD card into the camera, and then importing it into the camera. The wireless feature of the camera does allow you to remotely take pictures with the camera using your Android/iOS device.

What I find limiting with the GPS feature of the camera is that it will sometimes take over 30 seconds to lock onto the GPS signal even when the camera has the latest a-GPS (assisted GPS) file. Thirty seconds might not sound like a long time but when you want to take a picture and the camera hasn't yet locked onto the GPS signal, this amount of time might cause you to take a picture without the location data embedded into the picture when timing is critical. Also, when the camera goes into sleep mode, if you've configured the GPS to power off in order to save battery power, it will take on average ~15 seconds (during my tests) for it to reacquire the GPS signal.

I've noticed that sometimes the GPS location information isn't accurate even when the camera indicates that the GPS is lock is acquired with the 3 bars. During my vacation, when I took a few pictures and I uploaded these pictures into my Google account, GoogleMaps would identify that I was located a few blocks away from the actual location that actually took the pictures (for example, GoogleMaps would show that I took a picture while I was inside a building when the picture that I actually took was an outdoor shot/picture).

The Nikon D5300 can be configured to get its time via GPS or when it connects to a cellphone/tablet.  I have my Android tablet configured to get the time via NTP so the time on my tablet is accurate within a fraction of a second and when I connect my Nikon D5300 via wireless to my Android tablet, I know that the time on my camera is accurate.

The wireless and the GPS features use up a lot of battery power. For me, I didn't have an issue with battery power because I used the Meike battery grip that I purchased for my Nikon D5100 with my Nikon D5300. The battery grip worked very well with my Nikon D5300 and during my vacation I was able to take over 1500 pictures without having to recharge the batteries.

I find the pictures taken with my Nikon D5300 to be very good and better than what I was getting with my older Nikon D5100. I think part of this has to do with the difference in resolution since my older Nikon D5100 was 16.2 megapixel vs. the 24.2 megapixels of my Nikon D5300.

One other thing that I don't really like in the Nikon D5300 (but it is the same in the older Nikon D5100 that I had) is that the LCD panel is not a touch screen. Navigating through some of the menus would be a lot easier if the LCD panel was touch screen.

These are my first thoughts on my Nikon D5300 after having used it during my vacation.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and an comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

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